School Buses

Learn how to upgrade or replace diesel school buses, or replace on-board natural gas tanks, through the Carl Moyer Program or Lower-Emission School Bus Program. This program aims to reduce children’s exposure to harmful diesel bus emissions.

The Air District is currently accepting applications for public school bus projects. Funding is offered on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds have been spent. 

Applications must be complete to be considered for funding. Two sources of incentive funds are available: the Carl Moyer Program (CMP) and Lower Emission School Bus Program (LESBP). 

Project Types

 Funds are available for the following project types:

  • Bus replacement - replace public school buses with new diesel or alternative-fueled buses.
  • Engine repower or conversion – replace the engine of an existing bus with one that meets or exceeds 2010 engine-emissions standards, or convert the motive power system in the existing bus to operate on hybrid power or alternative fuels.
  • Engine retrofit - install an emission control device (case-by-case only).
  • CNG Tank replacement - replace on-board compressed natural gas tanks (buses between 14-16 years old).
  • Install fueling or maintenance infrastructure – as part of a funded equipment project (see below for details).

Battery Charging and Fueling Infrastructure

As part of a school bus replacement or engine repower or conversion project, applicants can also apply for grants to install, convert or expand battery charging stations for electric or hybrid-electric buses, or natural gas or hydrogen fueling stations for the funded equipment. Infrastructure funding limits are based on the power source of the installed equipment, as follows:

Maximum Percentage of Eligible Costs Infrastructure Project Type
50% All projects
65% Wind/Solar-Powered* projects
100% Public school bus – battery charging &
alternative fueling

Note: *At least 50 percent of the energy provided by the project must be generated from wind or solar power.

Eligible projects

  • Battery charging stations – install new, or convert or expand existing battery charging stations at schools, maintenance facilities, or long-term bus parking locations.
  • Alternative fueling stations – install new, or convert or expand existing hydrogen or natural gas fueling stations (in locations as described above).
  • Other project types may be eligible on a case-by-case basis. Contact our staff to discuss.

Eligible costs of infrastructure projects include costs of design and engineering, equipment (including non-grid power system), installation and meters or data loggers. Eligible projects must comply with all applicable laws, be located within Air District jurisdictional boundaries for use by buses operating in the Bay Area, and meet site ownership, equipment specification, and other CMP and Air District requirements. 

Other infrastructure funding options are offered under the LESBP

As part of a school bus replacement, engine repower or conversion, retrofit or CNG tank replacement project, applicants can also apply for grants to purchase and install the following infrastructure:

  • Natural gas fueling infrastructure with bus replacement - $16,500/per bus
  • Electric charging infrastructure with bus replacement - $20,000/per bus
  • Vehicle-to-grid electric infrastructure - up to 100% of costs
  • Replace deteriorating natural gas dispensers - up to 100% of costs
  • DPF cleaning machinery for retrofit project - up to $2,500 of the award

For additional details about project options and funding amounts see Additional Information section (below) or the School Bus Project Fact Sheet.

Eligibility

The following organizations are eligible for funding:

  • Bay Area public school districts that own their own buses, including under the provisions of a Joint Powers Agreement, may apply for all project types.
  • School transportation companies that provide services under contract to Bay Area public school districts, public charter schools, and county offices of education may apply for CNG tank replacement and repower/conversion project types.
  • Non-profit agencies, private schools, and other private companies are NOT eligible for funding under this program.
  • Applicants for school bus projects that are not eligible under this category may be eligible for bus replacement and other project types under the CMP On-Road Heavy-Duty Vehicle category.
  • The fleet and buses applied for must already comply with the CARB Truck and Bus Regulation. Incentive funds cannot be used to bring a bus or fleet into compliance.

School buses must transport public school students (grades K-12) to and from school, or for school-sponsored activities, within the Air District’s boundaries.

Applications are accepted for public school buses operating within the Air District’s boundaries, and the Air District may consider special projects operating in areas highlighted in the Priority Community Mapthat result in significant diesel emissions reductions. Contact our staff to discuss special project proposals.

Co-Funding with Other Incentives

Additional funding may be available for your school bus project. Private fleet owners may co-fund up to 85 percent of project costs and public fleet owners may co-fund up to 100 percent of project costs by matching additional funds from other incentive programs with CMP grants. Non-state co-funding sources may be available to cover the 15 percent private fleet match. Co-funded projects must meet the requirements for each funding source.

Incentive programs change frequently – more information is available on the CARB Truckstop Website.

General Project Requirements

  • Public school bus fleets that own a variety of equipment types are encouraged to apply for grants in other categories, especially if the application includes fueling or charging infrastructure.
  • Applicants are required to document at least 24 months (prior to application) of equipment ownership, mileage/usage, California DMV registration, CHP safety inspections and insurance.
  • Public school districts are required to submit a school board resolution approving the proposal and funding for the project.
  • Funded projects must result in emissions reductions that are surplus (extra) to existing regulations, laws, ordinances and agreements; incentives cannot be paid to bring a fleet or equipment into compliance. Emission credits from funded Carl Moyer Program projects may not be used by a fleet owner for compliance until deadlines established by CARB.
  • All projects selected for funding must comply with inspection and audit requirements of the current CMP Guidelines, and payment of the grant will occur only after verification that the project complies with all CMP requirements.
  • Baseline (old) equipment must be destroyed/scrapped at the time of project completion; projects must use only Air District Certified dismantlers for the scrapping of equipment.
  • Grants are not paid for purchases or work completed prior to Air District execution of the grant agreement (contract) for the project. Starting work or ordering equipment prior to execution of the contract will VOID the project and funding will be cancelled.
  • Case-by-case consideration of special projects or guideline exceptions must be approved by the California Air Resources Board in compliance with current CMP Guidelines.
  • Replacement equipment must be purchased, not leased (use conventional financing).
  • The Air District will file a Uniform Commercial Code-1 Financing Statement (lien) for school bus projects at the time of grant payment, applicable for the duration of the project term.
  • All projects paid a grant are required to operate funded equipment according to terms of the program requirements or signed grant agreement (contract).
  • All projects paid a grant may be required to submit annual reports to the Air District.

How to Apply

  1. Determine your fleet’s eligibility for this program.
  2. Identify the project type for your bus.
  3. Gather the required information about your current bus or tank and replacement bus or tank.
  4. Contact Air District staff with any questions you may have, including retrofit applications and special project requests. 
  5. Apply online (except retrofit projects) at www.baaqmd.gov/moyer.

Workshops and Events

View the Calendar for upcoming workshops, events, and deadlines.

School Bus Regulatory Information

CARB's Truck and Bus Regulation requires existing on-road diesel vehicles, including school buses, that operate in California to be upgraded to reduce emissions. It is the school bus owner's responsibility to understand the requirements of the CARB regulation and how the regulation affects their fleet. The awarding of a School Bus Incentive grant in no way extends any regulatory compliance deadline.

Additional Information

Lina Patel
Administrative Analyst, Strategic Incentives

415.749.5117

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Last Updated: 10/19/2017